Starting today, Metro Vancouver’s Muslim community can swipe left or right with Salaam Swipe.
The app was founded by Vancouverite Khalil Jessa, who noticed that the more common dating apps didn’t integrate particularly well with Muslim culture, and wanted to create something that filled that gap.
“There are a lot of things that Muslims experience that other people don’t,” Jessa told Vancity Buzz. “We have gender segregation, a lot of our communities are ethnically and culturally divided, and people are expected to meet in specific ways – but in our everyday lives, we meet just like everybody else.”
So Jessa found a team, and got to work. The app allows Muslims to search based on denominations such as Sunni and Shiite, and if the user is a liberal, conservative, moderate or non-practicing Muslim. This specificity gives Muslims the chance to meet online, while still fitting with their lifestyles.
“Dating apps have become normalized in our society, even just in the last year or two,” Jessa said. “Being a young person, and knowing how difficult it is to meet people in our community, I thought that this would be a really great solution.”
Though the app launches in Vancouver, Jessa hopes people it will grow to connect communities across North America and Europe.
“I want people to use this as a private, thoughtful and useful way to meet each other,” he said.